Ghana: Kidnapping of 2 Canadian Women - 4 Plead Not Guilty

26 February 2020

The four persons charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment of two Canadian women, yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.

Sampson Agharlor, also known as Romeo, the alleged kingpin, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar and Yusif Yakubu have been charged with conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

They have been accused of playing various roles in the kidnapping of Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chitty, who were in Kumasi, to participate in a youth programme, on June 4, 2019.

On October 18, 2019, Abdul Nasir, Safianu Abubakar, Abdul Rahaman Suleimana and Seidu Abubakar alias Mba were discharged by the court.

Counsel for the accused, Yaw Danquah, asked the court to grant his client bail but the court refused the application.

Ms Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney argued that the accused would not come to stand trial if granted bail.

The facts are that Aghalor met Yakubuin March last year in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, and asked him (Yakubu) to help him to buy a weapon to which he obliged, and secured him a pistol with 40 rounds of ammunition at the cost of GH¢3,700.

According to Ms Craig, the two became friends after the transaction and subsequently kept in touch.

She said Aghalor visited Yakubu in Kumasi on several occasions and that during his (Aghalor's) visit in March, Yakubu introduced Nasir, an aluminium fabricator, to the accused.

The prosecutor said the three went to a local eatery during which Yabuku told Nasir that Aghalor had come to Kumasi and needed assistance to kidnap a white man he had worked with to collect "serial numbers" from him.

She said after the first meeting, Nasir never heard from the two again.

The court heard that Aghalor travelled back to Nigeria and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omasar, who agreed to come to Ghana.

She said the accused arrived in Ghana to meet Nasir, adding that the four spent about a week in different hotels in Ashaiman near Tema before making their journey back to Kumasi.

According to the prosecution, while in Kumasi, the accused gave Nasir money to arrange for the necessary things to undertake the operation.

On June 4, 2019, Nasir rented a vehicle and brought along two pistols which they test fired after which they proceeded to town to search for a prey to kidnap.

Continuing, the prosecution said Miss Tilley and Chittey in the company of a colleague left a restaurant for their apartment at Ridge, Nhiaeso, in an Uber taxi but just after alighting, the accused drove their vehicle close to the Canadians and seized them amid firing.

The victims, she said were taken to an uncompleted building at Amoam Achiase in the Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region where they tried to hide them.

At all times, prosecution said the accused blindfolded the two ladies, touched them inappropriately, smeared them with fowl blood and later demanded $800,000 ransom from the parents of the Canadians.

The case has been adjourned to March 12, 2020 for case management conference.

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